Colleen Leahy

Radio Producer


Colleen Leahy



Rethinking David Foster Wallace

And But So was featured in To The Best Of Our Knowledge's episode on re-reading David Foster Wallace in the #MeToo era.

Are Referenda Actually Good For Democracy?

Referenda can be a way for voters to directly affect policy. But much of the time, referenda aren’t actionable.

Fact-Checking In 2018 And Beyond

In 2017, fact-checking was a mainstay of political journalism. Some of the biggest stories of the year involved reporters calling out politicians. But it hasn't always been that way.

A Look At Facebook's Hate Speech Policy

Under Facebook’s current hate speech policy, white supremacy is not permitted. But white nationalism and white separatism are. We talk about why Facebook makes this distinction, and what it could look like if the policy changes.

Why Is Operation Migration Ending After Almost Two Decades?

A keeper wearing a "crane suit," to resemble a parent whooping crane, feeds a recently born chick, a critically endangered species, with her hand in a puppet, at the Audubon Nature Institute's Species Survival Center in New Orleans, Thursday, June 21, 2018. To ensure the chicks don’t take to people, keepers wear the disguises to hide the human shape and obscure the face.

New Alphabet Book Features Sneaky Words

A is for apple, B is for bicycle, and C is for… czar? A new book explores the sneakiest, most frustrating words in the English language. Hear about gnocchi-eating gnomes, gift-wrapping wrens, and more. Then share your favorite children’s book and what made it special.

How Did Dogs Become Dogs?

Subject of endless memes and even taking the place of babies, dogs have been with us for upwards of ten thousand years. Or is it thirty thousand? Our most familiar interspecies friends are shrouded in mystery. That old story about humans taking it upon themselves to domesticate wolves might just be a myth. This hour, a look at how dogs (maybe) became dogs.

The Fake News About Shakespeare

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, William Shakespeare coined over 3,000 words that are still in use in modern-day English. Well, a few years ago the authoritative dictionary cut that number down to about 1,500 words — but no matter; it’s still a huge number. Well, actually ... the OED never said that Shakespeare invented words.

Tattoos As Old As Time

Tattoos have been around for thousands of years, possibly even as long as humans themselves. The recent discovery of tattoos on two 5,000 year old Egyptian mummies underscores that possibility. This hour, we’re talking about why tattoos aren’t just a trend, but part of being human.

Third Coast Bitchin' Pitchin': The Art of the Pitch

My pitch was selected for the 2016 Third Coast pitch panel. I pitched to Anna Sussman, senior producer of Snap Judgement.

A Life Of Firsts: The Legacy Of Vel Phillips

Before the catalytic 200 nights of fair housing marches in Milwaukee and before Lyndon B. Johnson’s federal fair housing legislation, there was Vel Phillips. Phillips passed away on Tuesday this week. Phillips began pushing for fair housing legislation to her white, male colleagues five years before the housing marches in Milwaukee began and six years before a federal fair housing bill was passed.

Milwaukee's Fair Housing Marches, 50 Years Later

On August 28, 1967, the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council, their advisor Father James Groppi, alderwoman Vel Phillips and members of the public marched from the city’s black north side, over “Milwaukee’s Mason-Dixon Line” — the 16th Street Viaduct — and into the white south side. When the group of 250 or so protesters set out to march again the next night, they were met with 13,000 counter-protesters armed with eggs, bottles, rocks and other projectiles, and the NAACP returned to their headquarters that night to find it’d been set on fire.


Colleen Leahy

Colleen Leahy is a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.